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Good range or cooktop for large family with limited budget

amgboord | Dec 19, 201403:00 PM

We're just beginning a kitchen redo and I'm looking for a good range or cooktop/wall oven option for a family of 10. We homeschool and have food allergy issues, so I cook 3 meals/day almost 365 days of the year. I want something that can handle big pots of pasta, large skillets, large sheet pans, etc., and is easy to keep clean, durable, reliable, and not too expensive. I would love a 36 inch Wolf or Thermador range... but unfortunately a 6000 or 7000 range just isn't in the budget. In addition, I want something that has the big burners in the back so I won't have to be so hypervigilant about little kids running by. Right now I'm cooking on a 34 year old Jenn Air cooktop that only has 2 working burners, and boiling giant pots of pasta the front burner (one of the 2 that work) is a constant source of anxiety to me because it's right at head level for a lot of my kids.

I'm looking at maybe a 36 inch Wolf glass/ceramic cooktop with Whirlpool wall ovens... or a Whirlpool Gold 36 inch glass cooktop with Whirlpool wall ovens (much cheaper than the Wolf/Whirlpool combo)... or perhaps switching to gas, although we would have to run a line to the kitchen. (We have gas to the house, just not to the kitchen.) My husband thinks the ceramic will be easier to clean, but I'm not sure? I also don't want to give up my cast iron pans.

I was also looking at a 36 inch GE Cafe gas cooktop, but saw a number of reviews about the knobs melting. We cook so much that any reliability problems are going to show up in our equipment pretty quick. (Also, I'm feeling a little leery about GE right now; our GE dishwasher is only a little over a year old and both racks are rusted through and broken. Not sure if their ranges/cooktops will be the same?)

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